Cooperating Partners and Civil Society Organisations have applauded the Government for the newly designed coordination, monitoring and evaluation ecosystem which has helped to highlight the true reflection of the performance of the Seventh Nation Development Plan (7NDP).
And Secretary to the Cabinet Dr. Roland Msiska says enhanced collaborations of the Government, private sector, cooperating partners, civil society organisations and other non-state actors are vital in finding alternative financing, management and implementation of the Seventh National Development Plan.
Contributing during the two-day National Development Coordinating Committee meeting at Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka, Cooperating Partners and other stakeholders encouraged the Ministry of National Development Planning to build upon these firm monitoring and evaluation establishments to improve the performance of the 7NDP.
The stakeholders acknowledged that the integrated system anchored on the 7NDP is taking root as evidenced by the commitment of all the Ministries in organising the work of all Cluster Advisory Groups (CAG), starting from the Provincial Development Coordinating Committee (PDCC) to the National Development Coordinating Committee meeting, leading to harmonisation of the 7NDP coordination, monitoring and evaluation ecosystem in the Government.
Officially closing the NDCC meeting, Dr. Msiska said the integrated approach that has been embraced would lead to achievement of strategic development areas of the 7NDP.
“It was gratifying to learn more on the initiatives and contributions by the private sector and other non-state actors towards meeting the 7NDP goal of creating a diversified and resilient economy for sustained growth and social economic transformation driven by agriculture, mining and tourism,” Dr. Msiska said. “I am confident that the initiatives identified will enhance attainment of goals under all the pillars of the 7NDP.”
He urged participants to ensure that the new policy recommendations agreed which arose from this meeting, equally receive the same attention as those of the previous NDCC meeting.
The Secretary to the Cabinet acknowledged that the integrated multi-sectoral approach was taking root, especially at the Cluster Advisory Group (CAG) level where Cooperating Partners and other stakeholders had been brought on board in management and implementation of the 7NDP.
“However, there is need to cascade this downwards to the regional centres and technical working groups. This will foster collective responsibility and concerted effort from all other partners including the public sector, private sector and civil society organization among others,” Dr Msiska said.
On decentralisation, the Secretary to the Cabinet explained that from the experiences in Chibombo – the pilot district for decentralisation – there were some teething challenges that Government needs to address before the decentralisation was rolled out to the rest of Zambia.
“I, therefore, wish to call upon the Public Service Commission to deal with emerging staff related challenges and fears to help move forward the decentralisation agenda,” Dr Msiska said. “In line with the sentiments expressed by provincial Permanent Secretaries, I want to assure this meeting that Government is committed to implementing the decentralisation policy. Efforts will be made to deal with the delays in the implementation of the policy.”
Dr. Msiska took cognisant of the good efforts of the Ministry of National Development Planning in effectively coordinating and monitoring the 7NDP, and therefore implored the ministry to consider setting up a TV channel or a series of TV programmes to highlight the works emerging from its coordination efforts including outcomes of various monitoring and evaluation activities.
The NDCC is a convergence, chaired by the Secretary to the Cabinet, which bring together Permanent Secretaries and other senior Government officials, bilateral and multilateral Cooperating Partners, Private Sector, Civil Society, Faith-based Organisations and other non-state actors focusing on national development.